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THE     NEW   AMERICAN    PASTORAL 


LANDSCAPE     PHOTOGRAPHY    IN    THE    AGE    OF    QUESTIONING 


The  Whitney  Museum  of  American  Art 
at  Equitable  Center  is  funded 
by  The  Equitable. 

This  exhibition  was  organized  by  the 
International  Museum  of  Photography  at 
George  Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York. 
The  exhibition  at  George  Eastman  House 
was  made  possible  in  part  by  a  grant  from 
H.  &  A.  of  New  York,  affiliates  of  Haley 
and  Aldrich. 


Cover:  John  Pfahl,  Rancho  Seco,  Sacramento  County, 
California,  from  the  series  Powerplaces,  1983 

©  1990  Essay  copyright  International  Museum  of  Photography 
at  George  Eastman  House 

©  1990  Whitney  Museum  of  American  Art 

945  Madison  Avenue 

New  York,  New  York  10021 


THE    NEW    AMERICAN    PASTORAL 
LANDSCAPE    PHOTOGRAPHY    IN    THE    AGE    OF    QUESTIONING 


Any  landscape  is  composed  not  only  of  what  lies  before  our 
eyes  but  what  lies  within  our  heads.-D.W.  Meinig1 

Nearing  the  end  of  this  century  it  has  become  increasingly  apparent  that  the  human  conquest  of 
nature  may  not  be  the  cause  for  celebration  it  once  was;  nor  can  we  with  any  complacency  view 
wilderness  as  isolated  from  the  effects  of  our  culture.  Our  expanding  presence  in  and  impact  on 
the  land,  it  is  argued,  has  become  so  pervasive  that  the  boundaries  between  nature  and  culture 
have  been  all  but  eradicated. 

For  more  than  150  years,  American  photographers  have  had  a  special  relationship  with  the 
land.  The  American  scenic  terrain  has  been  portrayed  by  them  with  a  passion  often  approaching 
the  spiritual  or  the  ecstatic.  At  the  same  time,  however,  the  significance  of  these  images  has 
also  been  informed,  whether  consciously  or  not,  by  the  changing  cultural  and  moral  values  of 
their  makers. 

In  the  nineteenth  century,  photographers  such  as  William  Henry  Jackson  and  Carleton  E.  Wat- 
kins  recorded  the  landscape  and,  along  with  it,  the  expanding  evidences  of  our  place  within  it.  The 
marks  of  human  presence  in  the  land-railways,  bridges,  frontier  towns,  mining  sites,  and  other  to- 
kens of  progress  and  industrial  growth-were  often  uncritically  portrayed  by  these  camera  artists 
as  part  of  the  natural  order  of  things  and  even  celebrated  as  being  in  harmony  with  the  land.  In 
1870,  the  explorer  Nathaniel  P.  Langford  argued  that  the  Yellowstone  Valley 

possesses  adaptabilities  for  the  highest  display  of  artificial 
culture,  amid  the  greatest  wonders  of  Nature  that  the  world 


affords.  ...  not  many  years  can  elapse  before  the  march 
of  civil  improvement  will  reclaim  this  delightful  solitude, 
and  garnish  it  with  all  the  attractions  of  cultivated  taste 
and  refinement.2 

Perceiving  an  increasingly  threatened  nature,  many  twentieth-century  photographers  sought  to 
depict  the  wilderness  in  pristine  isolation  from  human  incursion.  Nature,  in  the  work  of  such  pho- 
tographers as  Ansel  Adams  and  Eliot  Porter,  was  seen  as  something  completely  alien  to  civiliza- 
tion, and  as  something  to  be  preserved,  sequestered  from  human  reach.  Roads,  buildings,  jet 
contrails,  telephone  lines,  and  even  human  spectators  were  frequently  excluded  as  violations  of  a 
sublime  otherness. 

Each  of  these  photographic  traditions  celebrated  the  land  in  its  own  way,  either  as  a  garden  to 
be  cultivated  and  harvested  or  a  conservatory  in  dire  need  of  preservation.  And  if  Nathaniel  Lang- 
ford  dreamt  of  cultivating  the  Yellowstone  in  1870,  by  1960  Ansel  Adams  could  only  imagine 
bringing  the  Yosemite  Valley  back  to  its  primitive  state: 

We  may  resent  the  intrusion  of  urban  superficialities  .  .  .  but 
we  can  also  respond  to  the  challenge  to  re-create,  to  protect, 
to  re-interpret  the  enduring  essence  of  Yosemite,  to  re- 
establish it  as  a  sanctuary  from  the  turmoil  of  the  time.3 

A  radically  different  tradition  of  landscape  photography  appeared  in  the  late  1960s  and  early 
1970s  in  the  work  of  such  artists  as  Robert  Adams  and  Stephen  Shore.  These  photographers  of 
the  "New  Topographies,"  as  they  came  to  be  called,  showed  us  an  essentially  "man-altered"  land- 
scape, so  overbuilt  with  motels,  mobile-home  parks,  suburban  housing  tracts,  telephone  cables, 
and  industrial  parks  that  nature,  as  such,  was  all  but  completely  removed  from  the  picture. 

Portraying  nature  in  pure  isolation  and  documenting  the  contemporary  proliferation  of  man- 
made  vistas  are,  nevertheless,  paradoxically  comparable  acts  of  photographic  depiction,  for  both 
focus  on  the  distinct  separation  of  human  activity  from  unadulterated  wilderness.  Their  shared 
cultural  bias  is  the  firm  belief  that  culture  and  nature  are  forever  mutually  exclusive. 

Over  the  past  decade  or  so,  a  number  of  American  photographers  have  turned  a  critical  and 
even  at  times  political  camera  eye  on  the  landscape  as  it  has  been  changed,  marked,  used,  and 


misused  by  us  and  our  expanding  culture.  With  images  of  striking  beauty  and  visual  power,  these 
photographers  force  us  to  confront  the  not  always  pleasant  facts  of  our  integration  within  nature. 
In  an  age  when  the  effects  of  air  and  water  pollution,  acid  rain,  a  deteriorating  industrial  infra- 
structure, toxic-waste  dumps,  strip  mining,  a  shrinking  ozone  layer,  and  even  tourism  have  put  the 
very  idea  of  wilderness  at  risk,  their  images  clearly  suggest  that  we  are  not  independent  of  the 
land  but  an  integral  part  of  nature.  Nathaniel  Langford  may  have  wanted  to  bring  civil  improve- 
ments to  Yellowstone  in  the  last  century,  and  three  decades  ago  Ansel  Adams  may  have  wanted  to 
reestablish  Yosemite  as  a  natural  sanctuary.  In  1973,  however,  the  Earth  artist  Robert  Smithson 
expressed  an  entirely  different  conviction: 

One  need  not  improve  Yosemite,  all  one  needs  is  to  provide 
access  routes  and  accommodations.  But  this  decreases  the 
original  definition  of  wilderness  as  a  place  that  exists  without 
human  involvement.  Today,  Yosemite  is  more  like  an  urban- 
ized wilderness  with  its  electrical  outlets  for  campers,  and  its 
clothes  lines  hung  between  the  pines.  There  is  not  much  room 
for  contemplation  in  solitude.    ...  In  many  ways  the  more 
humble  or  even  degraded  sites  left  in  the  wake  of  mining 
operations  offer  more  of  a  challenge  to  art,  and  a  greater 
possibility  for  being  in  solitude.4 

Like  their  nineteenth-century  counterparts,  many  contemporary  photographers  have  depicted 
human  enterprise  as  being  within  and  not  apart  from  nature.  The  important  difference,  however, 
lies  in  the  questions  these  new  works  pose  concerning  our  very  perception  of  the  landscape  and  the 
lines  that  may  or  may  not  exist  between  nature  and  culture.  Analytical,  deconstructive,  transcen- 
dental, sharply  political,  and  even  lyrically  picturesque,  these  photographers  question  the  very  real 
tensions  that  exist  between  photographic  beauty  and  a  not  so  attractive  reality,  while  at  the  same 
time  documenting  those  places  where,  according  to  photographer  Lewis  Baltz,  "the  man-made, 
the  cultural,  and  the  natural  are  entropically  merged."5 


1  111   J.  i     jm 


HUH 


■  ■LSPt'f- 


H   B   B 


a  a  u  L«a 


Lewis  Baltz,  Candlestick  Point,  1988 


Lewis  Baltz  explores  the  most  banal  details  of  detritus-littered  spits  of  land  with  a  documen- 
tary vision  bordering  on  the  clinical  and  nearly  hallucinatory.  Robert  Smithson,  the  late  artist 
whose  writings  and  work  now  seem  progressively  influential  on  contemporary  landscape  art,  once 
suggested  that  the  only  option  for  artists  was  to  discard  all  guidebooks  and  risk  losing  themselves 
in  the  thickets  of  unknown  territories.6  Baltz's  record  of  these  vague  terrains  is  a  vision  of  just 
such  a  contemporary  thicket,  neither  built  nor  untouched.  The  author  Gus  Blaisdell  commented 
that  "the  questions  raised  [in  Baltz's  work]  are  about  the  degree  of  reality  the  world  depicted 
might  still  possess.  Or  how  far  has  that  world  slipped  into  the  total  subsidence  of  holocaustal  col- 
lapse? How  far  have  we  descended  upon  the  darkening  way  we  seem  to  pursue  so  insistently?"7 


From  1982  to  1988,  David  Taverner  Hanson  was  engaged  in  two  related  but  formally  distinct 
series  of  landscape  photographs.  Strangely  beautiful  and  aesthetically  "disinterested,"  these  works 
are  all  the  more  eloquent  and  disturbing  because  of  their  apparent  political  dispassion  and  human- 
istic compassion.  In  the  series  Colstrip,  Montana,  Hanson  has  documented  one  of  the  country's 
largest  coal-fired  electrical  power  complexes-Montana  Power's  Colstrip  plant.  Hanson's  Waste 
Land  series  is  a  survey  of  sixty-eight  places  on  the  National  Priorities  List  of  hazardous  waste 
sites.  Hanson's  abjectly  topographic  aerial  views,  central  to  his  triptychs,  are  flanked  by  a  map  of 
the  area  locating  the  site  and  the  EPA  statement  about  the  hazards  and  problems  of  the  site. 
These  texts  subtly  reveal  the  legal  strategies  used  to  evade  financial  responsibility  for  the  contam- 
ination and  cleanup. 


David  Taverner  Hanson,  Tooele  Army  Depot 
(North  Area),  Tooele,  Utah;  May  1986, 
from  the  series  Waste  Land,  1986 


Patricia  Layman  Bazelon,  Lime  Silo  and 
Lake  Erie,  from  the  series 
Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1988 


Since  1987,  Patricia  Layman  Bazelon  has  photographed  the  reconstruction  of  what  was  once 
called  the  "eighth  wonder  of  the  world"-the  giant  Bethlehem  Steel  Mill  in  Lackawanna,  New 
York.  Although  picturesque  ruins  may  have  delighted  a  nineteenth-century  romantic,  late 
twentieth-century  ruins  of  obsolete  and  disempowered  industrial  complexes  carry  with  them  a 
number  of  attendant  issues  that  subtly  discolor  nostalgic  meditations  on  the  past  by  questioning 
the  future.  According  to  the  photographer,  "A  project  of  'reclamation'  was  begun  in  1984,  and  now 
slowly  but  irrevocably  the  plant  is  being  demolished.  ...  In  just  under  a  century,  this  area  along 
the  shore  of  Lake  Erie  will  have  been  transformed  from  virgin  land  to  industrial  site  and  back- 
well,  almost.  At  present,  there  is  no  consensus  as  to  what  will  be  done  with  the  land  once  it 
is  cleared."8 


Ray  Mortenson  has  documented  the  New  Jersey  Meadowlands-an  area  of  30,000  acres  of  tidal 
marshlands  along  the  Newark  Bay  in  New  Jersey  a  few  miles  inland  from  the  Hudson  River  and 
across  from  Manhattan.  It  is  one  of  the  state's  most  highly  concentrated  industrial  sites.  Although 
America  lacks  the  romantic  ruins  that  litter  the  Old  World,  its  industrial  sites  have  been  a  source 
of  picturesque  scenery  of  another  kind;  and  in  the  desolation  of  such  "waste  lands,"  contemporary 
artists  have  sought  to  discover  meaning.  Robert  Smithson  described  a  locale  neighboring  the 
Meadowlands  as  "a  kind  of  self-destroying  postcard  world  of  failed  immortality  and  oppressive 
grandeur.  ...  it  echoed  a  kind  of  cliche  idea  of  infinity;  perhaps  the  'secrets  of  the  universe'  are 
just  as  pedestrian  not  to  say  dreary."9 


Ray  Mortenson,  Essex  Generating  Station, 
Newark,  from  the  book  Meadowland,  1979 


Emmet  Gowin,  Pivot  Agriculture, 
Washington,  1987 


Emmet  Gowin  has  depicted  mining  sites,  nuclear  waste  dumps,  abandoned  missile  sites,  water- 
treatment  plants,  and  massive  agricultural  plots  from  the  air.  Their  rich,  split-toned  nuances, 
nearly  pathological  detailing,  and  profound  beauty  compel  us  to  quietly  meditate  on  what  is  there 
and  what  is  absent.  "Rightly,  in  our  time,"  Gowin  has  written,  "we  have  become  acutely  aware  of 
the  destructive  forces  in  nature  and  we  do  not  find  it  possible  to  exclude  man  from  our  pic- 
ture. .  .  .  Before  nature,  what  I  see  does  not  truly  belong  to  anyone;  I  know  that  I  cannot  have  it, 
in  fact,  I  am  not  sure  what  I  am  seeing.  May  we,  nonetheless,  learn  to  value  this  Earth  more."10 
He  is  also  fond  of  citing  his  photographic  mentor,  Frederick  Sommer,  who  said  quite  simply,  "We 
honor  what  is  still  there  because  we  honor  what  was  once  there."11 


David  Maisel's  aerial  views  of  copper  strip  mines,  abandoned  tailings  ponds,  and  cyanide  leach- 
ing fields  are  not  part  of  our  general  consciousness  of  the  landscape.  They  are  unlike  almost  any- 
thing we  have  experienced,  short  of  NASA  views  of  the  surfaces  of  neighboring  planets  or  the 
desiccated,  lifeless  geometries  of  some  cinematic,  post-apocalyptic  landscape.  The  British  novelist 
J.G.  Ballard  once  described  a  similar  sort  of  scenery:  "In  some  way  its  landscape  seems  to  be 
involved  with  certain  unconscious  notions  of  time,  and  in  particular  with  those  that  may  be  a 
repressed  premonition  of  our  own  deaths.  The  attractions  and  dangers  of  such  an  architecture, 
as  the  past  has  shown,  need  no  stressing."12 


David  Maisel,  Open  Pit  Copper  Mine, 
Clifton,  Arizona,  1985 


10 


Richard  Misrach,  Dead  Animals  0327, 
from  the  series,  Desert  Cantos 
VI /The  Pit,  1987 


Richard  Misrach's  Desert  Cantos  is  an  epic,  multipart  tour  de  force  about  the  American  desert. 
Ambivalent  and  encouraging,  romantic  and  realistic,  seductive  and  remote,  angry  and  political, 
Misrach  has  focused  on  such  subjects  as  roadways,  military  bases,  flood  areas,  desert  fires,  bomb- 
ing ranges,  and  dead-animal  pits,  and  in  these  he  has  discovered  scenes  of  exquisite  spectacle  and 
terrible  attraction.  For  as  beautifully  as  these  scenes  are  rendered,  they  are  deeply  psychologically 
disturbing;  and  as  unearthly  as  they  appear,  they  are  also  hauntingly  familiar.  These  images 
seem  to  transcribe  a  psychic  landscape  for  which  we  have  been  long  prepared  but  have  seldom 
imagined-barren  terrains  into  which  we  have  been  absorbed  and  in  which  the  ordinary  notions  of 
direction  and  time  have  been  transformed  into  a  single  logic  of  light. 


11 


John  Pfahl  has  said  that  he  "wanted  to  make  photographs  whose  very  ambiguity  provoked 
thought,  rather  than  cut  it  off  prematurely  ...  to  make  pictures  that  worked  on  a  more  myste- 
rious level,  that  approached  the  truth  by  a  more  circuitous  route."13  Appropriating  historical 
aesthetic  conventions  such  as  "the  picturesque"  and  "the  sublime,"  Pfahl  has  rendered  electrical 
power  plants  and  miasmic  industrial  smoke  in  pictorial  styles  and  compositions  that  are  more 
than  reminiscent  of  paintings  by  Claude  Monet  or  John  Constable.  Through  his  seductive  pictures, 
Pfahl  asks  us  to  seriously  reconsider  the  beautiful  and  what  it  portends  today.  In  many  respects, 
Pfahl  echoes  the  sentiments  of  naturalist  Bill  McKibben,  who  recently  wrote,  "It  isn't  natural 
beauty  that  is  ended;  in  the  same  way  that  smog  breeds  spectacular  sunsets,  there  may  be  new, 
unimagined  beauties.  What  will  change  is  the  meaning  that  beauty  carries."14 

The  meaning  of  landscape  beauty  has  indeed  changed.  We  can  no  longer  view  "nature"  without 
considering  what  it  once  was,  what  might  yet  occur  to  it,  or  what  it  means.  Although  their 
responses  to  the  contemporary  landscape  are  far  from  homogeneous,  these  eight  artists,  as  well 
as  many  others,  have  found  that  pure,  virginal  nature  can  no  longer  be  the  simple  and  hallowed 
photographic  subject  it  may  once  have  been.  Their  work,  in  the  words  of  D.W.  Meinig,  reminds  us 
that  "environment  sustains  us  as  creatures;  landscape  displays  us  as  cultures."15  And  it  is  the 
landscape  as  a  cultural  phenomenon  that  these  artists  are  addressing  and  challenging  us  to  see 
and  understand. 

Robert  A.  Sobieszek 
Senior  Curator,  Photography 
International  Museum  of  Photography 
at  George  Eastman  House 


12 


NOTES 


1.  D.W.  Meinig,  "The  Beholding  Eye,"  in  The  Inter- 
pretation of  Ordinary  Landscapes:  Geographical 
Essays,  ed.  D.W.  Meinig  (New  York:  Oxford  University 
Press,  1979),  p.  34. 

2.  N.R  Langford,  Diary  of  the  Washburn  Expedition  to 
the  Yellowstone  and  Firehole  Rivers  in  the  Year  1870 
(St.  Paul,  Minnesota:  1905),  cited  in  Peter  Bacon 
Hales,  William  Henry  Jackson  and  the  Transformation 
of  the  American  Landscape  (Philadelphia:  Temple 
University  Press,  1988),  p.  96. 

3.  Ansel  Adams,  statement  in  Portfolio  Three:  Yosemite 
Valley  (San  Francisco:  Sierra  Club,  I960),  n.p. 

4.  Robert  Smithson,  "Frederick  Law  Olmsted  and  the 
Dialectical  Landscape,"  in  The  Writings  of  Robert 
Smithson,  ed.  Nancy  Holt  (New  York:  New  York 
University  Press,  1979),  pp.  124-25. 

5.  Lewis  Baltz,  interview,  Camera-Austria,  nos.  11-12 
(1983),  p.  5. 

6.  Smithson,  "Incidents  of  Mirror- Travel  in  the 
Yucatan,"  in  The  Writings  of  Robert  Smithson,  p.  189. 

7.  Gus  Blaisdell,  "Skeptical  Landscapes,"  in  Lewis 
Baltz,  Park  City  (Albuquerque:  Artspace  Press;  New 
York:  Castelli  Graphics,  1980),  pp.  244-45. 

8.  Patricia  Layman  Bazelon,  letter  to  author,  March  5,  1990. 

9.  Smithson,  "A  Tour  of  the  Monuments  of  Passaic, 
New  Jersey,"  in  The  Writings  of  Robert  Smithson, 
pp.  54,  56. 

10.  Emmet  Gowin,  "Little  Lamb  and  the  Average 
Man,"  in  Emmet  Gowin:  Photographs,  1966-1983, 
exhibition  catalogue  (Washington,  D.C.:  The  Corcoran 
Gallery  of  Art,  1983),  n.p. 

11.  Gowin,  conversation  with  author,  February  12,  1990. 

12.  J.G.  Ballard,  "The  Terminal  Beach,"  in  The 
Terminal  Beach  (London:  Penguin  Books,  1966),  p.  147. 

13.  John  Pfahl,  letter  to  author,  February  29,  1990. 

14.  Bill  McKibben,  "The  End  of  Nature,"  The  New 
Yorker,  September  11,  1989,  p.  74. 

15.  Meinig,  "Introduction,"  in  The  Interpretation  of 
Ordinary  Landscapes,  p.  3. 


WORKS   IN   THE    EXHIBITION 

Dimensions  are  in  inches;  height  precedes  width. 


LEWIS    BALTZ    (b.  1945) 

Candlestick  Point,  1988 

Eighty-four  gelatin  silver  and  type  C  prints, 

9V*xl3V6  each 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Castelli  Graphics, 

New  York 


PATRICIA    LAYMAN    BAZELON 
(b.  1933) 

Basic  Oxygen  Furnace,  East  Facade,  and  Smokes 
Creek,  from  the  series  Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1987 
Type  C  print,  1915/i6Xl515/i6 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Coke  Ovens  with  Steam  Pipes,  from  the  series 

Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1987 

Type  C  print,  15V4X19M6 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York; 

Museum  purchase,  Charina  Foundation  Funds 

Coke  Ovens  with  Abandoned  Conveyors,  from  the 
series  Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1988 
TypeC  print,  14M6Xl9Vtj 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Collapsed  Ore  Bridge  #7,  from  the  series  Bethlehem 

Steel  Mill,  1988 

Type  C  print,  lS'/lsxlS'/ie 

Collection  of  the  artist 

Lime  Silo  and  Lake  Erie,  from  the  series  Bethlehem 

Steel  Mill,  1988 

Type  C  print,  15^x19% 

Collection  of  the  artist 

Lime  Silo  and  Smokes  Creek,  from  the  series 
Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1988 
TypeC  print,  15H>xl5'/i6 

Collection  of  the  artist 


13 


Limestone  and  Road  Salt  with  Ore  Bridge,  from  the 
series  Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1988 
Type  C  print,  153/*xl9'M6 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Ore  Bridges  #6  and  #8  with  Demolition  Worker 

"Burning  Steel,"  from  the  series  Bethlehem  Steel 

Mill,  1988 

Type  C  print,  lS^Ab^l^At 

Collection  of  the  artist 

Road  Salt  with  Quench  Towers,  from  the  series 
Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1988 
TypeC  print,  15V4xl9V!> 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Basic  Oxygen  Furnace,  North  Facade,  and  Lime  Silo, 
from  the  series  Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1989 
TypeC  print,  15WX15VS 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Basic  Oxygen  Furnace,  West  Facade,  and  Lime  Silo, 
from  the  series  Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1989 
TypeC  print,  153/fcxl9Vfc 

Collection  of  the  artist 

Slabbing  Mill,  East  Facade,  and  Scrap  Bales,  from 
the  series  Bethlehem  Steel  Mill,  1989 
Type  C  print,  15Va  <15Vj 
Collection  of  the  artist 

EMMET   GOWIN    (b.  1941) 

Old  Hanford  City  Site,  Hanford  Nuclear  Reservation 
(Near  Richlands),  Washington,  1986 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  9V5X9VS 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 

Old  Hanford  City  Site,  Nuclear  Waste  Burial 
Mounds,  Columbia  River,  Washington,  1986 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  95/6x95/* 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 


Taconite  Tailing,  Hibbing,  Minnesota,  1986 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  WibXWui 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 

Abandoned  Titan  Missile  Site,  Mountain  Home, 
Idaho,  1987 

Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  93Ax93/4 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 

1CBM  Missile  Silo  &  Interstate  15,  Montana,  1987 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  9Vix9V5 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 

Pivot  Agriculture,  Washington,  1987 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  97/i6x97/i6 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 

Wheat  Field,  Glory  Sink,  North  Dakota,  1987 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  97/l6X97/i6 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 

Copper  Ore  Tailing,  Globe,  Arizona,  1988 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  9746x97/i6 
International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 
Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 
purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

Hawthorne  Army  Ammunitions  Storage,  Hawthorne, 

Nevada,  1988 

Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  95/&x95/6 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 

Gallery,  New  York 

Munitions  and  Ammunition  Storage  Array 
Hawthorne,  Nevada,  1988 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  9nAbX9nAb 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 


Race  Track  and  Motocross  Near  the  Airport, 
Albuquerque,  New  Mexico,  1988 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  9nAbX91Yib 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 

Aeration  Water  Treatment  Pond,  Pine  Bluff, 
Arkansas,  1989 

Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  913/i6x9iVi6 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Pace/MacGill 
Gallery,  New  York 

DAVID   TAVERNER    HANSON 
(b.  1948) 

Semi-reclaimed  Mine  Land,  July  1982,  from  the 

series  Colstrip,  Montana,  1982 

Type  C  print,  9xll 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 

Coal  Strip  Mine,  Power  Plant  and  Waste  Ponds, 

January  1984,  from  the  series  Colstrip,  Montana, 

1984 

Type  C  print,  9xll 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 

Mine  Spoil  Piles  and  Intersected  Water  Table,  June 
1984,  from  the  series  Colstrip,  Montana,  1984 
Type  C  print,  9xl015/i6 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 
New  York 

New  Mine  Area,  Coal  Tipple  and  Mine  Roads  Along 

Armell's  Creek,  December  1984,  from  the  series 

Colstrip,  Montana,  1984 

Type  C  print,  9x11 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 


14 


Waste  Ponds,  June  1984,  from  the  series  Colstrip, 

Montana,  1984 

Type  C  print,  9x11 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 

Waste  Ponds  and  Evaporation  Ponds,  June  1984, 

from  the  series  Colstrip,  Montana,  1984 

Type  C  print,  S'MbXiO'Vit 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

Atlas  Asbestos  Mine,  Fresno  County,  California, 
October  1985,  from  the  series  Waste  Land,  1985 
Map,  type  C  print,  and  text,  173/fcx46'>/i6  overall 
International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 
Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 
purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

Love  Canal,  Niagara  Falls,  New  York,  August  1986, 
from  the  series  Waste  Land,  1986 
Map,  type  C  print,  and  text,  173/fex467/i6  overall 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 
New  York 

Pepper  Steel  &  Alloys,  Inc.,  Medley,  Florida,  March 
1986,  from  the  series  Waste  Land,  1986 
Map,  type  C  print,  and  text,  17M6X46V4  overall 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 
New  York 

Petro- Processors  of  Louisiana,  Inc.,  Scotlandville, 

Louisiana,  March  1986,  from  the  series  Waste  Land, 

1986 

Map,  type  C  print,  and  text,  173/&x467/i(>  overall 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 


Tooele  Army  Depot  (North  Area),  Tooele,  Utah, 
May  1986,  from  the  series  Waste  Land,  1986 
Map,  type  C  print,  and  text,  173/fex46V5  overall 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 
New  York 

U.S.  Department  of  Energy  Rocky  Flats  Plant,  Golden, 
Colorado,  May  1986,  from  the  series  Waste  Land,  1986 
Map,  type  C  print,  and  text,  173/&x467/i6  overall 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 
New  York 

DAVID    MA1SEL    (b.  1961) 

Abandoned  Tailings  Pond,  Clifton,  Arizona,  1985 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  97/l6X9Mt 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Copper  Tailings,  Bagdad,  Arizona,  1985 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  9Vix97/i6 
International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 
Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Gift  of  the  artist 

Open- Pit  Copper  Mine,  Clifton,  Arizona,  1985 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  93/6x93/fe 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Rock  Outcropping  and  Mining  Town  of  Bagdad, 
Arizona,  1985 

Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  97/l<>x97/l6 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Coal  Mine,  Spring  Snow,  Tuscarora,  Pennsylvania, 
1988 

Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  10  * 97/ie 
International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 
Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 
purchase,  Margaret  T.  Morris  Foundation  Fund  in 
Memory  of  Dr.  Wesley  T.  "Bunny"  Hansen  and  National 
Endowment  for  the  Arts  Support 


Copper  Tailings  Pond,  Santa  Rita,  New  Mexico,  1988 
Toned  gelatin  silver  print,  28M6X28H6 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Cyanide  Leaching  Fields,  Open- Pit  Copper  Mine  at  Ray, 

Arizona,  1989 

Type  C  print,  15M6X153/* 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

Cyanide  Leaching  Fields,  Open- Pit  Copper  Mine  at  Ray, 

Arizona,  1989 

Cibachrome  print,  28M6X28V& 

Collection  of  the  artist 

Open-Pit  Copper  Mine  at  Globe,  Arizona,  1989 
Type  C  print,  15VSxl5Mt> 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Ore  Concentrators  and  Tailings  Pond,  Copper  Mine  at 
Globe,  Arizona,  1989 
Type  C  print,  15V1>xl5VS 
Collection  of  the  artist 

Tailings  Pond,  Open-Pit  Copper  Mine  at  Clifton, 

Arizona,  1989 

Type  C  print,  15^x153/* 

Collection  of  the  artist 

Vicinity  of  Open-Pit  Copper  Mine  at  Globe,  Arizona, 

1989 

Cibachrome  print,  28Vi6X28Vfe 

Collection  of  the  artist 

RICHARD   MISRACH    (b.  1949) 

Comfort  Stations,  Edwards  Air  Force  Base,  from  the 

series  Desert  Cantos  ll/The  Event,  1983 

TypeC  print,  183/*x23 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 


15 


The  Shuttle  Landing,  Edwards  Air  Force  Base,  from 
the  series  Deserf  Cantos  11/The  Event,  1983 
TypeC  print,  18Wx23Wj 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 
New  York 

Stranded  Rowboat,  Salton  Sea,  from  the  series  Desert 

Cantos  Ill/The  Flood,  1983 

TypeC  print,  187/l6x23H 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  Mew  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

Submerged  Clothesline,  Salton  Sea,  from  the  series 

Desert  Cantos  Hi/The  Flood,  1983 

Type  C  print,  18M6X23M6 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 

Desert  Fire  #135,  from  the  series  Desert  Cantos  1V/ 

The  Fires,  1984 

TypeC  print,  183/*X23VU 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 

Overlook,  Palms  to  Pines  Highway,  from  the  series 

Deserf  Cantos  I/The  Terrain,  1984 

Type  C  print,  185/lbX23V6 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 

Train  Tracks,  from  the  series  Desert  Cantos  I/The 

Terrain,  1984 

Type  C  print,  185/i6X2013/i6 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

Desert  Fire  0249,  from  the  series  Desert  Cantos  1V/ 

The  Fires,  1985 

TypeC  print,  18V4X23V16 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 


Red  Crater  and  Destroyed  Convoy  Bravo  20  Bombing 
Range,  horn  the  series  Desert  Cantos  V/The  War,  1986 
TypeC  print,  18M6X23 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 
New  York 

Bomb,  Destroyed  Vehicle  and  Lone  Rock,  from  the 

series  Desert  Cantos  V/The  War,  1987 

TypeC  print,  183/&x23M6 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

Dead  Animals  #279,  from  the  series  Desert  Cantos  Vl/ 

The  Pit,  1987 

Type  C  print,  263/i  x  3313/i6 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  fotomann  Inc., 

New  York 

Dead  Animals  #327 ,  from  the  series  Desert  Cantos  VI/ 

The  Pit,  1987 

Type  C  print,  27'M6X35Vi6 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

RAY    MORTENSON    (b.  1944) 

Cambell  Foundry,  Harrison,  from  the  book 

Meadowland,  1979 

Gelatin  silver  print,  63/Sx8'Vi6 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Essex  Generating  Station,  Newark,  from  the  book 

Meadowland,  1979 

Gelatin  silver  print,  b'/iexs1^ 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 


International  Salt,  Harrison,  from  the  book 

Meadowland,  1979 

Gelatin  silver  print,  67/l6x83/i 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Laurel  Hill,  Secaucus,  from  the  book  Meadowland, 

1979 

Gelatin  silver  print,  221M6Xl8Vi6 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Sherwin  Williams,  Newark,  from  the  book 

Meadowland,  1979 

Gelatin  silver  print,  6V5x8Vi 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Standard  Chlorine,  Kearny,  from  the  book 

Meadowland,  1979 

Gelatin  silver  print,  6V2x83/o 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Croxtow  Yards  and  Union  City  from  Hudson  Generating 

Station,  from  the  series  Meadowland,  1982 

Gelatin  silver  print,  173/ixl73/4 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Hudson  Generating  Station  from  Jersey  City,  from  the 

series  Meadowland,  1982 

Gelatin  silver  print,  2215/l6Xl8Vl6 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 

Laurel  Hill  and  Little  Snake  Hill  from  Hudson 
Generating  Station,  from  the  series  Meadowland,  1982 
Gelatin  silver  print,  22'M6xl8Vi6 
Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 
New  York 


16 


Little  Snake  Hill  from  Hudson  Generating  Station,  from 

the  series  Meadow/and,  1982 

Gelatin  silver  print,  2215/ibXl8Wb 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Secaucus  from  Hudson  Generating  Station,  from  the 

series  Meadowland,  1982 

Gelatin  silver  print,  18Mb  x 23 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Gift  of  the  artist 

Sherwin  Williams  and  Interstate  280  from  Harrison, 

from  the  series  Meadowland,  1982 

Gelatin  silver  print,  18Mbx23Hb 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Gift  of  the  artist 

JOHN    PFAHL    (b.  1939) 

San  Onofre  Nuclear  Generating  Station,  San  Clemente, 
California,  from  the  series  Powerplaces,  1981 
TypeC  print,  13^x18% 
International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 
Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 
purchase,  Charina  Foundation  Funds 

Ginna  Nuclear  Plant,  Lake  Ontario,  New  York,  from 

the  series  Powerplaces,  1982 

TypeC  print,  13Mb  x  18% 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Visual  Studies 

Workshop  Gallery,  Rochester,  New  York 


Three  Mile  Island  Nuclear  Plant,  Susquehanna, 
Pennsylvania,  from  the  series  Powerplaces,  1982 
Type  C  print,  13V4X18V4 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 
Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 
purchase,  Charina  Foundation  Funds 

The  Geysers  Power  Plant,  Mayacamus  Mountains, 
California,  from  the  series  Powerplaces,  1983 
TypeC  print,  13Mbxl8Mb 
International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 
Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 
purchase,  Charina  Foundation  Funds 

Pacific  Gas  and  Electric  Plant,  Morro  Bay,  California, 

from  the  series  Powerplaces,  1983 

Type  C  print,  13V4XI8V4 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  Funds 

Rancho  Seco,  Sacramento  County,  California,  from  the 

series  Powerplaces,  1983 

Type  C  print,  13Mb  xl83/* 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  Funds 

Bethlehem  #16,  Lackawanna,  NY,  from  the  series 

Smoke,  1989 

Type  C  print,  28x28 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Museum 

purchase,  Charina  Foundation  and  Matching  Funds 


Bethlehem  #72,  Lackawanna,  NY,  from  the  series 

Smoke,  1989 

Type  C  print,  lSVsxlS'/lb 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Goodyear  #5,  Niagara  Falls,  NY,  from  the  series 

Smoke,  1989 

Type  C  print,  18V5X18M6 

Collection  of  the  artist;  courtesy  Janet  Borden,  Inc., 

New  York 

Occidental  #18,  Niagara  Falls,  NY,  from  the  series 

Smoke,  1989 

Type  C  print,  18^x18^ 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Gift  of  the  artist 

Occidental  #75,  Niagara  Falls,  NY,  from  the  series 

Smoke,  1989 

TypeC  print,  lSV^xlS'/lb 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Gift  of  the  artist 

O-Cell-o  #7,  Tonawanda,  NY,  from  the  series  Smoke, 

1989 

TypeC  print,  18V4xi8M6 

International  Museum  of  Photography  at  George 

Eastman  House,  Rochester,  New  York;  Gift  of  the  artist 


WHITNEY   MUSEUM   OF   AMERICAN   ART 
AT    EQUITABLE    CENTER 

787  Seventh  Avenue 

New  York,  New  York  10019 

(212)  554-1000 

HOURS 

Monday-Friday,  11:00  am-6:00  pm 
Thursday,  11:00  am-7:30  pm 
Saturday,  12:00  noon-5:00  pm 
Free  admission 

GALLERY   TALKS 

Monday-Friday,  12:30  pm,  North  Gallery 
Tuesday-Friday,  1:00  pm,  South  Gallery 
Tours  by  appointment 

STAFF 

Pamela  Gruninger  Perkins 
Head,  Branch  Museums 

Adam  D.  Weinberg 
Branch  Director 

Ani  Boyajian 
Gallery  Coordinator 

Nanette  Lubrino 
Gallery  Coordinator 

Deborah  Lewittes 
Gallery  Assistant 


Design:  Bethany  Johns 

Typesetting:  Trufont  Typographers,  Inc. 

Printing:  Conceptual  Litho 


WHITNEY     MUSEUM     OF    AMERICAN     ART    AT     EQUITABLE     CENTER 
JULY    11-SEPTEMBER    8,     1990